Has your career reached an impasse…. is it time to make a change? 5 sure-fire indicators that it’s time to go.
- You are no longer learning or developing new skills.
Think back to when you started your current job and the excitement of the initial learning and the subsequent development of the skills that allowed you to excel in the role. Too often companies are reticent to move someone out of a job that they are doing really well because of the gap that it will create and the investment they will need to make in getting someone else up to speed. Your career progression should not be stalled because you are doing the job well. If you know that you are capable of more and are not getting the opportunity in your current company, it is time to look elsewhere. New growth and satisfaction can come from applying your developed skill set to a new industry as well as from moving into an entirely different position.
- You are no longer challenged – there is no “stretch” in your role.
One of the most satisfying things in working is to have a goal that is somewhat outside of your comfort zone and achieving it. An ambitious business person is much like an athlete, constantly looking to overcome the next test or challenge – it’s where you get your rush! If your job has become mind numbingly routine and your company does not provide the opportunity to work on some meaningful and challenging projects – it’s time to look for new challenges elsewhere.
When interviewing with other companies, asking about the opportunity to work on projects outside of the scope of the specific job should be a part of the discussion and your decision to join them. If working there would be just as limiting, you likely will not be happy there for long.
- You feel that you are not compensated at the appropriate level.
Here you have to do your homework and get a real pulse on what similar roles are paying in other companies and industries. Compensation and growth opportunities for similar roles can be very different. Sometimes this is impacted by the value of the role within a given company or industry. For example a Director of Digital Marketing role with an accounting firm may not pay as well as it does in a digital marketing firm, where it is their core business.
A great way to keep on top of compensation levels is to have ongoing interaction with recruiters – even when you are not in the market for a job. By responding to recruiter calls you are not only building a relationship for the future, you are getting a read of what the market is paying for your skills. Once you have a relatively good fix on the going rates and can confirm that you are not adequately compensated, it’s time to make your move.
- The company, industry, or your life has changed, and no longer meets your needs.
A significant drop in an industry is a pretty direct reason to make a change but sometimes you can also just lose your passion for an industry as well. A more subtle reason though can come with the shifting culture of the company no longer being a good fit for you. This could be influenced by senior management changes, too fast or too slow growth, more intense competition revealing the ugly underbelly of the company, and many other factors. Whatever the reason for the cultural shift, if you don’t feel you fit in any longer, it’s time to go. Similarly, if you find that your company is completely inflexible when your life changes, with family needs added to your responsibilities, and consistently expects you to put your job before all personal and family commitments, it’s time to find a more adaptive work environment.
- You are approached with a better offer/opportunity
Chances are that if you are a professional doing a great job, someone will notice. Sometimes the ones to take notice are not your current employer. Although you were not looking for a new opportunity, it begs the question – why hasn’t your company taken appropriate notice and rewarded your contribution? You like the job on offer and see future potential with the suitor company. Unless there are some other really compelling factors that would keep you at the current company, it is in your best interest to take the offer and advance your career.